I have gotten into a discussion about life with different friends this weekend about how we define life. And the word of the weekend is crazy.
One friend and I laugh as we compare the craziness in our lives and try to one-up the other. It entertains us to talk about her kids and my adults that bring the spice of life into our worlds with their various escapades and shenanigans. We call it the “crazy” that makes up each day. We compare notes, encourage each other, and try to just enjoy the ride.
The other friend almost seems to be offended by the term “crazy”. That by acknowledging the offbeat things that happen and the people who do them as “crazy” I could be missing God and His purpose.
But I’m not missing God. In fact, I think that in those crazy moments I am drawn even closer to God. They make me more dependent on Him. I realize my lack in walking in His patience, His strength, His quiet gentleness, His endurance, His mercy, and His love. I see where my fruit is well developed and where I still need much growth. I see where the seed of His truth has been planted and taken root and where I still need much watering. I see where I rely on me and my limited abilities instead of on Him.
So would I be the same person without the crazy?
And what exactly is crazy?
Here’s what I believe. Life is a series of moments – some sweet, some sad, some angry, some lonely, some profound, some happy, some amazing, some discouraging. But all to some degree crazy.
Now I do not use this term in a derogatory or inflammatory way. It’s not a put-down or insult. To me, it’s the nicest and simplest way to explain those moments in life that defy explanation or logic. To me, it’s the equivalent of “bless her heart” or “here’s your sign”. It defines those times where silliness meets senselessness.
I like to think most of life is made up of good crazy moments. The memories that make you smile. The relationships that make you blush. The child’s giggle that fills your heart with joy. A compliment or acknowledgment that gives you hope. An unexpected surprise that makes you feel loved. All the celebrations and anniversaries.
But sometimes the crazy is hard. It’s a difficult conversation with a friend, coworker, or loved one. It’s the loss of someone special. It’s a rough day filled with challenges and arguments. It’s a willful child who thinks she knows better than you. It’s a hurtful word aimed at you. It’s a missed opportunity. It’s running late when you tried so hard to be on time. It’s feeling unappreciated or unnoticed. It’s working hard for little or no (human) reward. It’s the person who tells you how you feel and tries to define who you are. It’s the manager who thinks yelling and humiliation accomplish something productive. It’s the fiance or spouse or parent who has time for everyone and everything but you. It’s the person who invades your personal space in an inappropriate way. It’s the unrealistic expectations of a spouse, a parent, a friend, or a boss. It’s the person who never accepts or admits blame for anything.
So how do you define crazy?
How do you respond to it? Does it drive into God’s waiting arms?
I am the first to admit that I don’t always react well to the craziness. I usually have to talk through it to figure out what it is, how it affects me, and why it bothers me. I don’t always handle it gracefully or lovingly. But there’s always a new opportunity to be better, to react differently, and to behave lovingly.
And when the opportunity arises, I pray that God gives me the wisdom to see with His eyes, speak His truth, and be His loving arms.
I’m on the train. Are you with me?
Marie Fremin, 3/14-15/15